Skip to main content

Impacts of Deglobalization on the
Sustainability of Regional Food, Energy, Water Systems

About Us

About the Project


Global trade has expanded opportunities and connected regional systems inextricably with the rest of the world. What if this global connectivity changed?

The inequity and instability created by a global economy has made many areas reconsider the benefits of globalization. While models predict isolationism will be bad for the overall world economy, little is known about how this change in policy would affect regional economies and resource systems.

Using the Great Lakes region as a test area, our team is creating a model to examine the regional implications of such policy changes. Our project is interested in economics, but also in the sustainability of food, energy, and water systems, which affect quality of life for all citizens.

Our model is DRFEWS (Dynamic Regional Food, Energy, Water Systems). To build it we will draw on existing economic and environmental models, modified to better reflect the characteristics of the region we are studying. Once we have connected these models appropriately into a single DRFEWS system and incorporated region-specific data, we will test the model with historical data. Meanwhile, we will work with our stakeholders to develop alternative future scenarios to use in the model, including a “Business As Usual” model and 4 alternatives. The DRFEWS model can then be ran with these alternative scenarios to examine the different sustainability outcomes.

Along the way, we’ll be looking for opportunities to educate students, citizens, and policy makers about modeling science, interdisciplinary work, and other facets of our project.

Want to Learn More?